We talk to two new recruits from the Philippines who joined subcontractor SW Scaffolding last year.
Scaffolding services are required for any work being carried out at height, for example exterior painting and roof and chimney repairs.
SW Scaffolding General Manager Reuben Aberhart says when the time came to hire more staff for their Wiri, South Auckland, business they decided to have a look overseas. Reuben says this is because there continues to be a shortage of scaffolders in New Zealand and in the Auckland market in particular.
After completing immigration requirements, Alfredo Zamora and Santos Abobo – both from the Philippines – joined the team in mid-2017.
They decided the best option would be for both to work alongside Operations Manager Stan Sunguturanga. Stan has been in the scaffolding game a long time and is a very experienced member of the team, Reuben says.
“We knew Stan would be just the right person to support our new recruits, both on the job and with settling into their new life in New Zealand. In addition to supporting and guiding them while out in the field, Stan warmly welcomed Alfredo and Santos to his own family gatherings.”
It’s now March 2018 and Alfredo and Santos still work alongside Stan, an arrangement Reuben says continues to work very well.
“Alfredo and Santos have been able to learn all aspects of the job and also learn more about life in New Zealand and being a Kiwi.”
SW Scaffolding is a team of 25 from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures and Reuben says Santos and Alfredo have become very popular and respected team members, for both their hard work and their ‘can do’ Kiwi attitude.
“Its fair to say we’re looking forward to having Alfredo and Santos in the SW Scaffolding team for many more years to come,” Reuben says.
Quick question and answer session with Alfredo and Santos
Q - How is life working out for you in New Zealand?
A - Everything is all good especially now my wife has arrived in New Zealand. We’re very excited to start a brand new life here as Kiwis.
Q - What are some things you like about New Zealand?
A - I like seeing the city and all the beautiful places. I also like how New Zealand drivers strictly observe the road rules. In the Philippines, drivers don’t usually follow and obey the rules when driving on the road. I love everything about New Zealand.
Q - How do you like the diversity of New Zealand?
A - I enjoy interacting with different nationalities in New Zealand and especially people of Samoan and Tongan descent. Personally I find them very friendly and really like them all.
Q - What are your end goals?
A - To be a citizen in your prestigious country.
Q - How are you adapting to New Zealand culture?
A - I think I’m doing pretty well and already feel like a Kiwi living here in New Zealand.
Q - How do you like New Zealand?
A - I feel New Zealand as a country does offer a better way of life with more opportunities for everyone including free education for children.
Q - How do you feel about the New Zealand way of living?
A - I love the New Zealand way of life. It’s a great place to live and also a great place to work.
Q - Is living in New Zealand what you expected?
A - At first, I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to manage the weather because I had heard it can get quite cold in New Zealand. I’m from the Philippines, which is a tropical country and I’ve also worked in Qatar, where the weather is always very, very hot. Cold weather would certainly have been a change for me but so far so good; the weather in New Zealand has been great to me.
Q - What have you found good about New Zealand?
A - Aside from a better salary here, I continue to be amazed by the scenery and abundance of fresh and clean air.
Q - What is your end goal?
A - To be able to live permanently in New Zealand with my family and also learn to drive in New Zealand.